“Pitbull” Freire will not compete in his scheduled lightweight
tournament quarterfinal tomorrow night at Bellator
87, as the Brazilian has suffered a knee injury that will
prevent him from taking on Guillaume
DeLorenzi in the evening’s main event.
In Freire’s place steps Saad Awad, who
had initially been scheduled to meet Jason
Fischer on the undercard. Sherdog.com confirmed the development
Wednesday with a source close to the fighters following an initial
report from MMAJunkie.com.
According to Sherdog’s source, Freire hurt his knee weeks ago and
notified Bellator. However, the fighter thought he might be able to
work through the injury in time for his bout, so the fight was not
called off. As the fight date neared, it became clear that it would
not be safe for the lightweight to compete.
Bellator 87 takes place at Soaring Eagle Casino Resort in Mount
Pleasant, Mich., and the evening’s main card airs live on Spike TV.
Due to Freire’s injury, the broadcast will now be topped by a
lightweight tournament quarterfinal pitting two-time tournament vet
Woodard against former welterweight David
Awad enters his first Bellator tournament on the strength of a
four-fight winning streak, last competing on Oct. 20, when he
submitted King of the Cage vet Daniel
McWilliams in just 76 seconds. The onetime Strikeforce talent
last competed for Bellator during the promotion’s first season,
submitting to a Diego
Garijo rear-naked choke at Bellator 10. The Millennia MMA
representative competed thrice last year, stopping Andy
Morales and Matt Shorey
before besting McWilliams.